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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking phenylephrine?
Do not use phenylephrine if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to phenylephrine or to other decongestants, diet pills, stimulants, or ADHD medications.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take phenylephrine if you have:
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether phenylephrine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
Phenylephrine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Artificially sweetened liquid cold medicine may contain phenylalanine. If you have phenylketonuria (PKU), check the medication label to see if the product contains phenylalanine.
How should I take phenylephrine?
Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Cold medicine is usually taken only for a short time until your symptoms clear up.
Do not give this medication to a child younger than 4 years old. Always ask a doctor before giving a cough or cold medicine to a child. Death can occur from the misuse of cough and cold medicines in very young children.
Take this medicine with a full glass of water.
The chewable tablet must be chewed before you swallow it.
You may need to shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. Measure the liquid with a special dose measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Do not take phenylephrine for longer than 7 days in a row. Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 7 days of treatment, or if you have a fever with a headache, cough, or skin rash.
If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using phenylephrine. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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